Winter Sale (Soldes)

soldesParis only has two sanctioned sales during the year — in January and February just after the Christmas break and in July just before the August holiday.  The winter sale is in full swing through mid February, with many stores now in their second and third markdown.  Unlike sales in the U.S., stores are open mostly during normal hours, except have extended days open on a few Sundays.  While it seems impossible, French law only allows sales during this time period, otherwise stores must get permission from the police to hold discounted sales outside this time period.  The theory behind this is that this protects the small mom and pop shops from heavy discounting by the major giants, like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, but, in reality, this is a way to preserve price protection and state sanctioned price parity among retailers. Read More »

Christmas In Paris

The City of Lights literally sparkles at night during the festive winter season, as the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees and narrow streets of Paris glow with twinkling lights, Christmas ornaments and decorations through the New Year.  Read More »

Grand Carousel — Place de la Concorde

Winter time in Paris is always festive, but to experience the city from on high in the heart of Paris, go visit La grande Roue — the Great Ferris Wheel – at Place de la Concorde.  Towering the size of a football field, La grand Roue comfortably fits 6-8 people in a single chariot (seat), and offers some of the best views of the city.  Situated at the entrance of Jardin des Tuileries, it is also close the the Christmas Market on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees.  Read More »

Ice Skating in Paris

What better way to experience the beauty of Paris in the winter than ice skating?  Several venues in Paris offer ice skating, either for a low fee or even for free.  The primary venue is located at Hotel de Ville.
Every year this rink is packed with local Parisians, as well as, tourists who want to experience this winter activity beside the historical beauty of Hotel de Ville.  Open December 20 through March 1.  Skate rentals are only 5 Euros.  Metro: Hotel de Ville.  Other venues are on the Champs de Mars 9right below the Eiffel Tower) and Le Grand Palais.

 

Christmas Markets in Paris

Nothing exudes the spirit and festiveness of Christmas more than the traditional Christmas markets in Paris. Sip hot spiced wine while shopping for artisan cheeses, giant-sized ginger bread cookies, sausages, wines and other winter season specialties.  Each market has its own character, but it very much feels like being in Strasbourg, or the really charming towns of Colmar and Kayserberg, with their ginger-bread style Alsace homes. Read More »

Wild Mushrooms In Paris

IMGP1835.JPGMushroom season is on the tail end, but still worthwhile to sort out special deals in restaurants (truffles, cepes, girolles) and markets.   The  marchés have mounds of fresh mushrooms for sale.  The best ones are girolles (what Americans call chantrelles) and cepes — big, meaty mushrooms the size of baseballs.  As Paris gets back to its rhythm, going to the marches may itself be an act of defiance but moreover, a necessary way to enjoy life as the French do so well — and buy a half kilo of cepes. Read More »